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Off to La Plata to see the Silver Rails Gallery

by Chris Guenzler

I really wanted to be at the Grand Opening of the Silver Rails Gallery but due to Winterail and me doing a show about La Plata on Friday night it became the old adage of not being in two places at once. I settled for the next best thing. I got home from Winterail late Sunday night and would leave the next evening. So after I did some chores around the house, worked some on the Castle Air Museum part of the story, I packed up and was ready for my mother to drive me once again to the Santa Ana Train Station. I took the elevators up and down in between crossing the bridge to Track I where I waited for my Surfliner Train to Los Angeles on a very warm late winter afternoon.

Surfliner 583 3/15/2010

The train pulled in and I took my seat on the lower level of the Pacific Business Class Car and went right to work finishing up the Castle Air Museum part of the Winterail 2010 Story before we arrived into LAUPT a few minutes late. A Red Cap gave me a ride over to Track 11 and my waiting train to La Plata.

Southwest Chief 4 3/15/2010

I was in Room 9 in the 431 Car with Simon as my excellent Sleeping Car Attendant. This train has Engines 84 and 201, Baggage 1750, Transition 39035, Sleepers 32115 Washington and 32060, Diner 38062, Lounge 33016 and Coaches 34007, 34098 and 31033. Over on Track 13 were private cars SP City of Angels 800180 and California Zephyr CB&Q Silver Quail 800712. The train left Los Angeles on tine with me writing stories. After Fullerton I had my Dinner in the Dining Car and was seated with a man from East Orange, New Jersey who was really into Minor League Ice Hockey. We had a great conversation. I enjoyed a Flat Iron Steak and had vanilla ice cream for dessert. After a fresh air break at San Bernardino I wrote the first part of the trip to Winterail as the train made its way over Cajon Pass to Victorville, our next stop. I finished up just short of Barstow where I made up my room and called it a night.


I woke up at Winslow and got dressed before heading to the Lounge Car because the Dining Car was having water issues. After Holbrook they opened up and I was seated with three Amish adults. We had a nice conversation as I enjoyed my French Toast and sausage patties. Back in my room, I worked on the Photo Special Steam Train Story we did in Niles Canyon on Sunday which I worked on the three parts listening to good music.

Mesas as we entered New Mexico. I finished that story up just as we were coming into Albuquerque early. The new thing here is now they bring the train straight into the station and the train gets refueled from a fuel truck on the opposite side away from the station. I sat out on a bench working on my sun tan on a 49 degree early afternoon. The train left Albuquerque on time and headed out towards Lamy. I finished the Winterail part of the story thanks to a phone call to Bob & Elizabeth just before Las Vegas. Next I worked on the timing for my May Meeting of the Orange County Railway Historical Society program I will be presenting. It will be a good one. I got to play a few minutes of Solitaire before we arrived into our fresh air stop of Raton. I had a 6:00 PM Dinner Reservation and was seated with three of the most quiet passengers I have ever eaten a meal with. The steak was great but the baked potato has as hard as a rock and I sent it back for mashed. The Vanilla ice cream for dessert was fine but the Dining Car Steward never came back to make change for me. After Dinner I put on a movie and relaxed. I took fresh air at La Junta before I made up my room for the night.


I woke up on a rainy morning when the train stopped in the BNSF Argentine Yard to refuel the engines and went to the Lounge Car for a Big Texas Cinnamon Roll. I changed clothes and then stepped off for a few minutes in Kansas City which we arrived early into this wet morning. I put on my Queensryche "Mindcrime Live at the Moore" DVD before the train left Kansas City on time for La Plata. The rain ended as we neared Bosworth, the Queensryche DVD ended after Brookfield and then I packed up my room and took my stuff down stairs for an early arrival into La Plata. It has been another great trip aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief as I detrained finding Bob Cox waiting for me.

A visit to the Silver Rail Gallery 3/17/2010

Once Bob was finished at the Amtrak Depot and I had uploaded the pictures and stories using the excellent wireless at the La Plata Amtrak Station, we then drove into downtown to the Silver Rails Gallery for my first look at it.

In the first room is the Silver Rails Gallery Store.

Just a general view.

DVD's are sold out of this rack.

Post Cards are available to be purchased out of this rack.

A collage of some the pictures for sale in the gallery and on line once the store is up on the Silver Rail Gallery Web Site. There will be other pictures available that at this point are not being shown in the gallery.

These selves have things for sale including train party materials from on display. Now let's go into the Silver Rails Gallery and see the artwork and photos.

Above the former Santa Fe Mojave District Dispatching Board starts the photographs of yours truly, Chris Guenzler.

The Chris Guenzler bio.

These six plus six more will be on-line for you to purchase if you wish.

This is the junction where mine ends and our next person's work begins.

The next Photographer is my dear friend, Carl Morrison.

He has more but I don't want to spoil it for all of you, so check the Silver Rails Gallery Web Site for more from each artist.

A look towards the next two artists.

Will Anderson Bio.

Two of Will Anderson's work.

Nick Smith Bio.

One of Nick's Photos.

J. Craig Thorpe Bio.

A view of all of his work.

Three of Craig's work.

Ken Barrett Bio.

A view of all of Ken Barrett's work.

Four of Ken's work.

Jackie Hadnot Bio.

The wood carvings of Jackie Hadnot.

Bob and Amy Cox Bio.

Box Cox Photo.

Amy Cox Photo.

Now let's walk back and see the Silver Rails Library.

The books on the selves.

The picture of late Richard Hamilton at my Millionth Mile Dinner at the Red Rooster.

The magazines are all sorted.

A picture by my good friend Tom Anderson of the Fullerton, California Station.

Three photos from around La Plata.

Richard Hamilton Picture in the Library.

Harold and Hilda Marshall.

John Collum working a Rail Post Office Car. That finishes are tour of the Silver Rails Gallery. Bob drove me to the Depot Inn & Suites where I got the Sportsman Suite for this stay. I wrote this story and relaxed the rest of the day. Tomorrow will start the next story.